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Walcott - We were wary of Wenger

Theo Walcott has admitted he did not dare look Arsene Wenger in the eye after the Gunners threw away a four-goal lead at Newcastle on Saturday.

Walcott claimed the Magpies taught his side a lesson at St James' Park as Abou Diaby's dismissal provided the trigger for one of the most astounding top-flight comebacks of all time.

The England international and his team-mates thought the wise option was to stay out of a clearly furious Wenger's way following the match, and Walcott said: "None of us wanted to look the boss in the eye. It was such a disappointment."

He added: "When you are 4-0 up and want to win the league, it shouldn't happen, even if you have a man sent off.

"Newcastle taught us a lesson. They showed us how to play against 10 men. We are known for keeping the ball. On Saturday we didn't."

Manchester United 's loss at Wolves later in the day did raise spirits. Enough for Walcott to tune in for a memorable Match of the Day, believing some of Wenger's anger would have been eased by the knowledge his side are still the Red Devils' closest title challengers, a position Chelsea's defeat to Liverpool on Sunday only reinforced.

"When we landed at Luton, we all put on our phones and had a little check," revealed Walcott. "Everybody had grins on their faces. It changed the mood. It changed the boss' mood as well.

"He would have gone home thinking it was a point gained and something we can build on.

"The first half performance was the best I have been involved in.

"I watched it again on Match of the Day. I couldn't change the result and I didn't want to sulk. I wanted to see my goal as well."

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph